Main Priorities & Projects
At the Institute of Sports and Exercise Sciences in Münster, three main topics are addressed and gradually filled content and structure.
The education at the WWU concentrates not only on normative reasoning, but also finding empirical proof for varying assumed preconditions and effects of pedagogical measures in movement, games and sport. The research emphasis in teaching in sports at our university lies in the research of school-related and non-school-related sports and exercise. Regarding the principles of teaching, the main focus is empirical research of formal and informal educational processes. The Department of Sport Pedagogy & Sport History concentrates on anthropological and historical aspects of educational sciences. The research of the Department for the Social Sciences of Sport concentrates on the analyses of social factors which influence the education of sports and exercise.
A central educational aspect is the research to improve personal development. Developmental improvement is a well-known and frequently researched aspect of sports sciences, but the field is still lacking fundamental principles and empirical studies. Therefore, the departments of the sports sciences combine to fill this research gap, so that possible interventions can lead to faster and better development. This is done by concentrating on various areas where sport is present (schools, teams, etc.), as well as different target groups (age groups, chronically ill, etc.). The Center for Educational Research in Sports (CeBiS) was established at the Institute for Sports Sciences as a research association, which promotes research projects in- and outside of schools, builds partnerships with other universities, and aids in the transfer of knowledge in this field.
In this branch of research, the mental and physical requirements for peak performance in sports, as well the enhancement of performance by means of physical and mental training, are addressed. The main departments in this branch are Sports Medicine, Sport Psychology, Human Performance and Training in Sports, and Movement Science. Empirical, experimental and statistical methods are the usual procedure of choice in this research branch. Examples are projects regarding visual attention in sports, the impact of left-handedness on sports, finding patterns in repetitive movements, developing training methods to improve physical and mental performance, and projects regarding effects of home-field advantage.
Many prevalent illnesses in our society are closely linked to lack of exercise and malnutrition. Movement and exercise can therefore offer a systematical approach to prevention, therapy and rehabilitation of illnesses. Since the topic of health can be covered by many different fields of the sports sciences, varying departments contribute to its research. The Department of Movement Science for example is trying to find a way to prevent chronic back pain in cooperation with other departments like the Center for Nonlinear Science in Münster. The Institute for Sports Sciences also researches the effect, which an exact amount of exercise has on the musculoskeletal system, the cardiovascular system, the metabolism and the immune system. The focus in this field lies not only on physical activity in sports, but also on everyday movements. The Department of Sports Psychology addresses topics like the mental effect of injuries in physical education in schools. A specific research topic is, if the overall cooperation in class can prevent injuries from occurring.
The research projects can all be found in their respective departments on our website.